LeCompte attends national convention
Cassville High School alumna Victoria LeCompte had the opportunity to serve as a page at the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Fla., Aug. 18 through Aug. 24.
"It was a lot of fun," said LeCompte. "I would recommend it. You get to meet so many people. I have friends in Alaska, Connecticut, Ohio and Oklahoma who I am still talking to.
"Right now, it is still hard to believe that I was there to help nominate the man who could be the next President of the United States," added LeCompte. "It is very touching."
LeCompte was selecting to serve as a page at the convention by Missouri Republican Party Chairman David Cole.
"He knew I am a
Republican, and he thought this would be a great experience for me," said LeCompte. "My whole mom's side of the family is hard core Republicans, and my dad's side are extreme Democrats. I had never watched the convention, but this year, I was very interested in watching both conventions to see the differences.
"It was great to be there and meet the different pages and see the different visions on issues," said LeCompte. "I got to meet and see a lot of very well known people."
While in Florida, LeCompte stayed with dozens of other pages from across the country in a Best Western outside Tampa Bay. Their accommodations were only 20 minutes from the forum.
"We were so protected while we were there," said LeCompte. "We had Secret Service staying in our hotel, and when we went to the forum there were Secret Service and National Guard members everywhere. We had to carry special credentials to get into the forum."
Young adults attending the convention as a part of the page program were responsible for making political signs for the event, distributing literature and starting the "Mitt" and "USA" chants that chorused through the convention crowd each evening.
The page program included students between the ages of 16 and 25, said LeCompte. Pages were required to be at the forum from 7 a.m. to midnight or after on the days of the convention.
"I was part of group four, and we got to be on the floor the very first night of the convention," said LeCompte. "Some of the other groups didn't get to be on the floor anytime during the event.
"At one time, I was 40 feet from Ann Romney, and at another time I was five feet from Paul Ryan and Newt Gingrich. I had my picture taken with Chris Christie, and I got to meet Diane Sawyer.
"Watching clips from the convention now, I think 'Wow. I was there,'" added LeCompte.
Through the experience of attending the Republican National Convention, LeCompte said she learned to respect politics more than she had in the past.
"Before I went, I didn't care that much," said LeCompte. "I knew I was Republican, but that was it. Seeing people who are so passionate about the issues made me realize how important it is to be involved."
Although she has no plans to change her major from elementary education, LeCompte said she is considering joining the College of Republicans at Missouri State University where she is currently attending college.
In addition to attending the Republican National Convention, young adults who volunteered for the page program visited Busch Gardens, and IMAX Theater and an animal sanctuary for lions, tigers and other large cats while in Florida.
LeCompte is the daughter of Michael and Jill LeCompte, of Washburn. She is a 2011 graduate of Cassville High School.